Australian right-wing senator chastised for burqa ‘stunt’

Australian senator Pauline Hanson wears a burqa in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, August 17, 2017. (Photo by AP)
A right-wing Australian senator has been strongly rebuked for carrying out a “stunt” in the Australian parliament against the Islamic faith.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson walked into the chamber on Thursday wearing the Islamic garment burqa.
Hanson took her parliament seat wearing the burqa as others watched astounded and senators from her party laughed.
Far-right Senator Pauline Hanson takes off a burqa she wore into the Senate chamber, at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, August 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Hanson, who is not Muslim, then discarded the Burqa, saying, “I’m quite happy to remove this because it’s not what should belong in this parliament.”
She then asked Attorney General George Brandis “in light of what is happening with national security... will you work to ban the burqa?”
But instead, Hanson received a fierce rebuke by Brandis.
“Senator Hanson,” Brandis said, “I’m not going to pretend to ignore the stunt that you have tried to pull today by arriving in the chamber dressed in a burqa, when we all know you are not an adherent of the Islamic faith.”
He told her to be “very, very careful” not to offend the “religious sensibilities of other Australians.”
“To ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do,” he said, receiving a standing ovation.
Hanson has for long been campaigning to ban the burqa. She said in a speech in parliament last year that Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Muslims.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters on Friday that he didn’t want the “stunts in the Senate” to be publicized but he indicated that Brandis had been correct to chastise the unacceptable public display by Hansen.
Turnbull said the attorney general spoke with “eloquence and wisdom.”
Prime Minister Turnbull and Attorney General Brandis belong to the Liberal Party, which has 45 seats in the chamber. Hansen’s has ten.

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